Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Morning Walk

We are just in from an early morning walk down the field with all three dogs and the cat. Gilly managed well, and even ventured into the woods and negotiated some fallen trees. Jasper ran through the standing water getting disgustingly dirty. The dogs all gave Rupert a wide berth today; they had a minor run-in last week with donkey coming out victorious.

It's company season here in the Cariboo! Melissa and Chris visited last weekend; my mom and dad are with us now, Karen arrives this afternoon, and Dave and Jan are coming up in a couple of weeks, possibly with Kim. Jen will be home on vacation from Korea in late July and we hope Lee will come up too before he heads to Iceland.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

An Update from the Infirmary...

Lucy is back to normal.

Gillis is okay too. He's a bit dazed and confused sometimes, but is very happy, and most of the time seems to know what's going on, and how to get around. He's good on level ground, but has some balance difficulties in rougher terrain. He's having a bit of difficulty with coordinating his back legs and needs a bit of help negotiating the porch stairs sometimes. He still "assumes the position" to have his back scratched. We'll take him back to the clinic this week for further assessment.

Thanks everyone for your good thoughts for him. I believe they helped.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sh*t happens to Gillis too.

Gillis had a stroke last night. He had three big seizures, and we spent the wee hours at the clinic with him. He has developed a major heart murmur and it seems very likely that a clot from the heart went to his brain. He was given some phenobarb and subcutaneous hydration, and the vet loaded me up with stuff to bring home in case he had further seizures. When we arrived home, he was nearly comatose and we laid him carefullly on his bed next to ours. We climbed into bed around 2 a.m., hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

When I woke at 5, I went around to Mike's side of the bed to check on Gilly, and found his bed empty. He was in the living room, walking around groggily. I took him outside for a pee, and he had a bit of trouble managing to come back up the porch stairs, but otherwise seemed okay. We all went back to bed till 8. This morning he's happy, quiet, a bit wobbly, he's drinking well and although he turned his nose up at breakfast, he's happy to accept hand fed Marrow Bones.

Please think good thoughts for Gilly.
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Prince Rupert

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After living with us for over a year, his royal highness Rupert has deemed me worthy, and bestowed upon me the honour of being allowed to groom him without restraining him with a halter and leadrope. This is progress indeed! While he was nibbling treats (okay, he was bribed a bit), he let me work on his coat with the shedding blade for as long as I pleased. I'm sure it had to do with how itchy his coat is now that he's finally shedding profusely, but it was nice not being snubbed for a change.
The camera angle, btw, is extremely flattering...Rupert isn't nearly as slim and trim as he looks here!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sh*t Happens...and it always happens to Lucy

When it comes to unfortunate events, if something is going to happen to one of our dogs, it's always Lucy on the receiving end.

Lucy is our "middle dog", a black lab/german shepherd cross. She has the coat of a lab, and the mind of a shepherd, and I wouldn't be surprised if she's part cat too, because she seems to be using up nine lives.

Lu had a miserable start to life, and when we got her as a thirteen-week old puppy seven years ago, she had been confined to a cage for weeks. She was so frail that we had to pick her up and carry her when we went walking. She soon gained her strength, and also developed a severe case of separation anxiety. By the time she was eight months old, she had done several thousand dollars' worth of damage to walls, door frames, carpeting, clothing, and eyeglasses. She was very difficult to house train, and more than once I threatened to send her back to the SPCA where she came from.

She was medicated for her separation anxiety, and one Sunday morning, playing tag team with the cat, who knocked her bottle of medication onto the floor, overdosed on Clomicalm and had to be rushed to the emergency animal clinic in Vancouver.
By the time she was about four, she was more or less psychologically healthy.

A couple of years later, while out an about for a romp on Annacis Island, Lucy squatted to pee - unfortunately on a wasp's nest. She was promptly swarmed by dozens of wasps, and was badly stung and ill for days.

Lucy's passion has always been chasing and fetching balls...she used to fetch until we were too tired to throw a ball. I'm sure her heart would burst before she'd give up fetching. Last year, she tore a ligament in a knee while chasing squirrels, and had to have surgery. Xrays revealed that she also has severe hip dysplasia...the vet said that those xrays could just as easily belong to a dog that couldn't stand up. With medication, she's doing just fine. Her ball chasing days are over, although she still dashes after squirrels from time to time.

Today I came home to find her with a hugely swollen neck and the top of her head is swollen too. Her airway is fine, and we have given her some benadryl. We'll watch to see what happens. She seems quite content, and now is getting a little sleepy. I'm a little worried about her tonight.

Lucy sounds incredibly tough when she barks, and she has an imposing presence that keeps people who don't know her at bay. She is Jasper's self-appointed protector, and she can't decide whether she should love Molly (the cat) or torment her. She's a gentle soul, though...she loves babies of any species. She can sense unhappiness a mile away, and always comes to console me when I'm sad. Last fall I fell down the outside stairs and hurt myself quite badly. She stayed at my side while I determined that nothing was broken (Jasper on the other hand wolfed down the apple and carrot slices I had dropped when I fell), and then stayed with me for the rest of the day. She has the most soulful brown doggy eyes I've ever seen.

Given the bad state of her joints, it's unlikely that Lucy will live to a ripe old age, but she's doing fine for now. I hope she's better by morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is one of the most lovely times of year in the Cariboo. The wildflowers are in full profusion (though not as prolific as last year, I don't think), and the grass is lush and green (thanks to two weeks of daily rainstorms, which seem to be over) and the dust is settled for now. Last year I took hundreds of wildflower pics, and posted many of them...this year I'm content to admire them without the camera for the most part.

I don't have a lot of time to blog at the moment...I'm picking up extra hours at work. Soon I'll be back to being a lady of leisure by lunchtime. It's great being able to work part-time!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beauty in the South Cariboo...

Mike is working nights and sleeping days this week, so after I finished work this afternoon I took a drive so I wouldn't make noise and wake him up early. I was going to take Jasper, but he decided he'd rather snuggle up on the bed beside Mike.

Exploring 100 Mile's surroundings is one of my very favourite things to do.

Today, I headed out toward Forest Grove, and hung a right on Buffalo Creek Road.
Tree swallows

Wild roses with a barbed wire fence.

A little closer.

A long-dead fir.

An old abandoned log cabin.

Bridge Creek

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Getting There...

The shop is nearly assembled. We're forever in the debt of Bernie and Nadine for all their help and for the loan of equipment in getting the job done. There's still lots to do on it; tightening, electrical, insulation & the front, but the monster task of putting together every section with about 19 zillion nuts and bolts is almost complete. Would we recommend a metal building to anyone? No. Never. Not ever. However, when it's all done, it will be a great place for Mike to putter, and I'll have my garden shed all to myself!

The weather remains cool and unstable. We've had showers most days, and the only place we've had to water is inside the greenhouse. I'm liking these cool days...I don't do so well in extremely warm temperatures. I planted lettuce out the other day, and the potatoes are finally sprouting. We were a bit late getting them in.

Buck and Rupert are enjoying their expanded grazing space, and I'm pretty sure Rupert is going to slim down from all the walking he has to do following Buck around everywhere. They have an entourage of cowbirds who travel with them; Buck often has 2 or 3 hitchhiking on his back.

The chickadees have babies in their nest box, and last year's robins' nest is occupied. The hummingbirds are going through 500 mls of syrup every other day!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Update

The rain continued non-stop till late Thursday afternoon and since then we've had intermittent showers ranging from light sprinkles to downpours. Everything is fresh and green, having had its dust layers washed off.

On Thursday afternoon, Mike and I decided to take a drive. We headed down to 58 mile and along Meadow Lake Road. There is some truly beautiful rangeland there, and if it hadn't been so late in the day, we'd have gone further afield.

On Friday morning, Buck rightly decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the electric fence, and decided that as the damn thing hadn't been turned on since last September or so, that he'd rather be elsewhere on the property. We woke to find him happily munching dandelions growing on the septic field. While I was at work, Mike reconfigured the electric fencing, and now Buck and Rupert can wander the entire property, except where we're fenced off around the house. There's enough grass growing that they shouldn't need hay for a few months.

On Saturday morning, Bernie and Nadine arrived to work on the shop with us. We raised four more sections, and things went ever so much more smoothly than they did last fall. We got rained out in the afternoon, but we'll be back at it this morning after buttermilk pancakes and bacon!

This morning is cool and clear, and the birds are in full song already. I'm going to take my tea out to the porch to listen to them. I have no idea why I'm up and at it at 4:30 a.m.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's Raining!

With apologies to family and friends who live about 3800 feet lower than us, I'm happy to report that we're having some good, heavy rainfall this evening! This probably isn't good news for those of you who are likely to be affected in some way by flooding, but it's a happy event for those of us who spend too much time fretting about forest fires.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In The Garden

Things are coming along nicely in the garden. The garlic is garlicking, and my tulips are finally in bloom, although I don't think they're liking this very warm weather. The swiss chard and carrots have sprouted too.

The tomatoes are looking good in the greenhouse! Yesterday I transplanted some basil seedlings into a greenhouse bed.

I've taken to watering things behind the house in the evening, and doing the front in the morning for well recovery purposes. We've had no indication of being short of water, but I think it's good to space things out.

Osteospurmums. I have a flat of petunias that I bought yesterday to pot up this evening. We're finally frost free at night, and should be till mid-August or so.

There is rain in the forecast for the coming week. I'm fervently hoping we get some...there has been only one semi-decent rainfall since the snow melted. Everything needs a good soaking; the forests are dry, there are fewer wildflowers this year, and the local hayfields are struggling.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Last evening...

There's not much better than sitting on the porch in the cool of the late evening, listening to the sandhill cranes throw their voices. They are natural ventriloquists, it seems. They're actually in one of the meadows behind us, but they sound as though they're moving through the forest. It would be quite eerie, if you didn't know what was making the sound.

When you throw in watching Molly stalking imaginary prey, the swallows and chickadees going in and out of their respective nest boxes, and then the full moon (a blue moon, actually) rising through the trees, it was pretty wonderful. If there were no mosquitos, it would have been out and out perfect!